Review Roundup: March 2020

LSU Press publishes the works of a host of talented scholars and poets. Each month, we take a moment to recognize the impact these authors and their works are having on communities nearby and around the world.


We are pleased to announce that the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities has named LSU Press its 2020 Champion of Culture. In celebration of this important recognition, the magazine 64 Parishes is spotlighting one of our most treasured books: John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces. Read more about this classic novel—now forty years old!—and LSU Press here.

Geographer and professor Richard Campanella has made a name for himself writing about the heart of New Orleans—in articles as well as his books Cityscapes of New Orleans and Bourbon Street: A History—but his latest book explores an often-ignored part of the city across the Mississippi River. The West Bank of Greater New Orleans paints a detailed portrait of the unique subregion that has played a vital role in the history and development of the Crescent City. You can read Campanella’s latest reflections on New Orleans and the resiliency of its people in this article he wrote for 64 Parishes.


In The Faubourg Marigny of New Orleans: A History, Scott S. Ellis “presents an engaging and informative study of a neighborhood that has long remained in the shadows of the famous Vieux Carré,” says Melissa Daggett for The Historian. She refers to Ellis’s book as “an important and valued addition to the libraries of both the academic and general reader.” You can see the full review with a subscription to The Historian.

Now available in paperback, Walter C. Stern’s award-winning book Race and Education in New Orleans: Creating the Segregated City, 1764–1960 is more than just a history of Louisiana’s largest public education system. “Stern opens up fresh debate about the very complex nature of racial discrimination in urban America,” says Andrew Busch in his review for the Journal of Southern History. According to Busch, Stern’s book is “a notable contribution to the history of urban development and racial geography in the South.” Read the full review here.

A. J. Aiséirithe and Donald Yacovone’s edited collection Wendell Phillips, Social Justice, and the Power of the Past explores the life and legacy of a leading abolitionist and reformer of the Civil War–era South. In his review for Fides et Historia, Ryan McIlhenny notes, “This collection of essays recaptures the intellectual acumen, class-defying egalitarianism, and penetrating oratory skills of one of the most prominent nineteenth-century radicals.” Read the rest of McIlhenny’s review in the Winter 2019 issue of Fides.


James Davis May, author of Unquiet Things, recently won the Rattle Poetry Prize Readers’ Choice Award for his new poem “Red in Tooth and Claw.” May says that the loss of a close friend to cancer inspired him to pen the piece. Read the praise for this prizewinning poem here.

Elizabeth Holmes’s latest collection, Passing Worlds: Tahiti in the Era of Captain Cook, was a bit of an experiment. Rather than use her own voice, Holmes adapted the personas of several people connected to Captain Cook’s voyage to Tahiti—both those on Cook’s ship and some encountered by the crew in their travels. “Such adroit maneuvering allows Holmes to bring historical personages to life as complex dramatic personae,” says Christopher Kempf in his review for the Adroit Journal. “As in cubist painting, Holmes’s work fragments and collages those perspectives into a single luminous text, so that the initial encounter between these cultures, for instance, evokes starkly opposed responses.” Read more of Kempf’s astute review here.

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